9 June 2020

Peter wanted to remain living in his home, but needed help with his day-to-day care. His niece Mandy who loved her Uncle Peter decided to move into his home and assist him with his daily tasks.

Mandy tries her best, and she can be very kind at times. At other times, she loses patience with how slowly Peter moves. Sometimes she'll shove him out of the way if she’s in a hurry, resulting in more than one tumble and bruise. She tries to be patient, but often her frustration leads to insults, name calling and door slamming.

In recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEEAD) on 15 June, Manningham Council is advocating to stop elder abuse.

Manningham Mayor, Cr Paul McLeish said everyone has the right to feel safe, respected and valued in the community.

“There’s no excuse for elder abuse. It is the worst manifestation of ageism and inequality in the community and is a form of family violence. It is unacceptable and needs to be called out,” Cr McLeish said.

“Elder abuse is any act that causes harm to an older person that is carried out by someone they know and trust. Abuse can be physical, social, financial, psychological or sexual and can include mistreatment and neglect,” he said.

Rates of elder abuse are under reported and the Australian Institute of Family Studies estimates up to 14 percent of older people aged 65 years and above in Australia are affected.

“Ageism is stereotyping, discrimination and mistreatment based solely on a person’s age. When directed towards older people, it comes from negative attitudes and beliefs about what it means to be older. At its extreme, ageism contributes to elder abuse.

“Our goal is to raise awareness about ageism, challenge stereotypes of older people and encourage people to speak up and take action."

In 2017, Manningham signed the Victorian Age-Friendly Declaration. This endorsed the importance of partnership between government, community and business sectors to work together to achieve age-friendly communities.

In 2019, the Manningham Positive Ageing Alliance Group (The Alliance) and developed a plan was established. The Alliance identified that an age-friendly Manningham is one where older people are respected and valued, and able to connect and participate.

“We are striving for a community without ageism.

“We celebrate our older people who have great knowledge, diverse interests and contribute an enormous amount to our communities, families, organisations and economy.”

To stop elder abuse in our community, older people are encouraged to:
• stay connected in the community
• plan for the future
• seek independent advice
• develop a support network of trusted friends and professionals
• seek help

If you need help, ask for it as soon as possible. If it is an emergency please contact 000 to speak with the Police. If it is not an emergency, please contact Seniors Rights Victoria from 10.00am – 5.00pm Monday to Friday on 1300 368 821.

“Respect older people and call out ageism, listen to older people and their carers and check in with vulnerable older people,” Cr McLeish said.

For further information on elder abuse visit manningham.vic.gov.au/elder-abuse